What NOT TO DO when my child is playing?

Imagine…

You just came to your new office. Full of excitement you are walking to your table. Wearing your favorite skirt and aaah those new shoes you were saving for this moment. You smile at every new colleague on the way. You feel so confident and so happy. All is new and you love new challenges. Then you move your chair and sit. Look all over your table and proudly turn on the computer…

“Wooooow, awesomeeeee!” You turn and people standing around you watching you so closely you can’t even breath are nodding their heads for you. “Oh, you must be the most clever woman living on this planet! Look at her! Isn’t she the most clever woman? Let’s clap for her. Yaaaayyyy”… You just don’t understand what has just happened. “Heeey, my friend didn’t see how awesomely you pressed that button..Come on, show her! Show, show!” You really don’t feel like to do it again so you are just looking at all these people till the woman behind you takes your hand and presses the button again and again so you can listen to another yaaaaayyyyy chores for few more minutes. Feeling all that overexcited attention you just lost your interest in new job…And so much excitement it was at the beginning…

Now let’s try it little bit differently.

Imagine…

You just came to your new grandmas’ house. Full of excitement you are walking to your new play corner. Wearing your favorite skirt and aaah those shoes you were saving for this moment. You smile at everyone around you. You feel so confident and so happy. Every day brings some new challenges and you love it. Since you heard your grandparents have new house with awesome corner for you, you find yourself imagining how you will play and what toys they must kept for you…You sit and look all over your space, take that awesome colorful pencil and start to draw…

“Wooooow, awesomeeeee!” You turn as you got distracted and people standing around you watching you so closely you can’t even breath are nodding their heads for you. “Oh, you must be the most clever girl living on this planet! Look at her! Isn’t she the most clever girl? Let’s clap for her. Yaaaayyyy”… You just don’t understand what has just happened. “Heeey, your daddy didn’t see how awesomely you draw..Come on, show him! Show, show! Don’t feel shy. Why are you shy?” You really don’t feel like to do it again so you are just looking at all these people till your grandma behind you takes your hand and draws some lines again and again so you can listen to another yaaaaayyyyy chores for few more minutes. Feeling all that overexcited attention you just lost your interest in new play space…And so much excitement it was at the beginning…

Do you feel comfortable in any of the situations? Then why kids should? There are millions of situation daily when we just kill the excitement and curiosity of our children. Incurious child = disaster. Not now, not tomorrow but later in his life. He will just not have the sparkle in his eye, no questions in his head, no answers to the difficulties that arise in front of him, he will not have opportunity to discover “light bulb” or “radio” as we-adults took that chance from him in his childhood. 

What NOT TO DO when my child is playing:

  • Never distract the child that is deep in play. His brain works 100% when in the state of flow. Play is work of your child. After new information is obtained he can move on to other activity. If we talk about distraction, we talk about both negative and positive one. Means, “wow you did it so well” is causing same disturbance as “oh god,let me show you”.
  • Do not choose the activity for child. Yes, you can offer him some options but let him choose what is best for him at that moment. Tomorrow it can be something completely different. These urges to some activities we call Sensitive Periods. It is important to follow his lead as he is master of his brain and he is being led by the strong power of nature. It’s nature because of which our kids are walking, running, talking, singing, memorizing…It’s not us-parents. Every child can master all the possible abilities because he has that predispositions but if they are not honored and developed in proper way he will just stay illiterate. Living with a wolves will make him like a wolf.
  • Do not interfere in your child’s play till he doesn’t ask for it. As adults we really don’t understand about the awesomeness of the world how our children can see it. Then why to show him how to do some things faster, easier, better if he doesn’t want it? Child is playing because of the pleasure he gets during the process of play. He is not rushing to get the result. He is not stepping on the escalator because he wants to reach second floor…He just loves the escalator. So do not come up with suggestions that will stop your child from exploring and being happy in the process of playing.
  • Do not force your child to finish any activity, if he doesn’t want means he is done. He absorbed whatever was possible and now he can move on.
  • Do not switch the TV or radio on. Do not add anything extra to the space where child is playing. His senses and brain are developing best while isolated. When visual play is going on do not add on auditory experiences. The brain will get disturbed and sight will not develop to its best.
  • Do not rush! We always have soooo much of work around the house, outside the house, everywhere…Do you feel that you give your child whole day’s time and he is still demanding more and more? Just stop yourself! Give your child and yourself one hour of a day where you are 200% his play mate. No cook, no charwoman, no wife, only mother. WHEN OUR CHILD WAS BORN WE BECAME MOTHERS NOT HOUSEWIVES! 
  • Do not check your mobile. That’s so disrespectful to your child. Imagine you are small baby and while you are having your daily dose of breast milk you mamma is browsing facebook behind your head…I must admit, I am still fighting with this one :/

What other DO NOTS would you suggest?

10 NOTES FOR MONTESSORI PARENT

Imagine…

You are 4 years old. You have small body, small shoes, small clothes…The minute hand on the clock finally points to that sweet white puppy. For a while you imagine how would you play with it, how would you train it. It’s time to go home and you are waiting for your mum to unlock your wardrobe. Before that you ask the teacher to take you to toilet. It was very exhausting day. Even before you entered the building this morning you understood it was playtime. You could hear loud banging, shouting, laughing and … cry… As you entered the room you got overwhelmed by all those bright colors, toys and confusion. You played with some doll, built a house for her from plastic blocks, run here and there… Then your mum comes, ties your shoe laces, makes you wear the coat, and as you rush back home you imagine what your mum must have cooked today.

You are 4 years old. You have small body, small shoes, small clothes…The minute hand on the clock finally points to 1pm, oh that sweet white puppy. For a while you imagine how would you play with it, how would you train it. It’s time to go home and you are waiting for your mum. You rush to unlock your wardrobe. Before that you use the toilet. It was very peaceful day. When you entered the room this morning you understood it was welcome time. You could hear your friends talking and laughing. The teacher warmly greeted you and invited you to sit in the circle and the day started by singing the song. You just love that peaceful and organized space and smell of wood. You worked on your water pouring skills, built a pink tower, learnt about the frog life cycle and measured the size of the biggest bird in the world…. Then your mum comes, you are tying the shoe laces, wearing the coat, and as you walk back home full of peace and feeling of achievement you imagine what will you and your mum cook today.

Can you see the difference in two approaches? Which one do you like more?

Montessori education is different from conventional ways of teaching and proves to be more perfect and efficient. The curriculum was developed by Dr.Maria Montessori, who believed that children are not “empty vases” waiting for us-adults to pour the information in them. The children have the potential which is there waiting to be unleashed.

Montessori mistress (the word teacher is not used) is treating children with respect which enables them to realize their self-worth and abilities which is crucial for effective learning. Acknowledging them as individuals helps them to grow their potential to a greater degree then otherwise.

Education is a natural process carried out by children themselves, not by teachers. Teachers can only help the great work that is being done by offering prepared environment, materials and presentations.

Children learn in the process. Children learn while working with hands not while listening to lectures.

NOTES TO STICK ON FRIDGE:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Montessori works for us and will for you. We will get through all the points in next posts. Stay tuned 🙂